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Nov 24, 2014
This week's theme
Eponyms

This week's words
solon

Solon
A bas-relief from the chamber of the US House of Representatives
Photo: Wikimedia

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

What does a luddite have in common with a mentor and a scrooge? All three are words coined from the names of people, real or fictional. Luddite, after Ned Ludd, a textile worker who destroyed machinery; mentor, after an adviser in Homer's Odyssey; and scrooge, after the miserly money-lender in Dickens's A Christmas Carol.

Such words are called eponyms, from Greek ep- (after) + -onym (name). This week we'll meet five people, all real, who became words.

solon

PRONUNCIATION:
(SOH-luhn)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A wise lawgiver.
2. A legislator.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Solon (c. 638-558 BCE), an Athenian lawmaker who introduced political, economic, and moral reforms and revised the harsh code of laws established by Draco. Earliest documented use: 1631.

USAGE:
"After due consideration and debate, our solons last week offered new rules designed to prevent dangerous practices."
Randall W. Forsyth; Riskless Business; Barron's (New York); Dec 16, 2013.

See more usage examples of solon in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people's brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead. -Arundhati Roy, writer and activist (b. 1961)

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